Veganuary, the annual challenge to try veganism for the month, continues to grow in popularity, with a total of two million participants signing up since the pledge began in 2014.
Reflecting on the two million milestone, Veganuary co-founder and chair Matthew Glover said: “When my wife Jane and I decided to launch a new year’s vegan pledge in 2014 we expected only 1,000 people to take part. More than 3,000 signed-up and we were blown away.
“Now Veganuary is a bigger feature in the retail calendar than Christmas, reflecting the ever-increasing number of people choosing plant-based food.
“Two million official Veganuary participants in just eight years is a huge achievement, but the explosion in plant-based products that has accompanied it is truly revolutionising the future of food.”
Plant-based food is an ever-expanding market and shoppers can now find everything from vegan fish to ice cream on the supermarket shelves.
This year is no exception, with many brands looking to cash in on the booming popularity of vegan products.
Here are some of the most exciting new brand launches you should know about:
The first vegan Babybel cheese
Babybel has released a vegan version of their classic cheese, wrapped in green wax to differentiate from the original red snacks. They are sold in packs of five for £2.
“We’ve seen overwhelming demand for the development of a vegan-friendly Babybel over the years, and with the plant-based market continuing to grow substantially, the new launch is perfectly timed to meet this consumer appetite,” Bel’s brand manager Ollie Richmond told The Grocer.
Ginsters expands vegan range
Ginsters has expanded its vegan pastries with the launch of its new limited edition Creamy Garlic Mushroom Slice (rsp: £1.70).
The new slice features sliced white and chestnut mushrooms in a vegan cream and white wine sauce with roasted garlic, coconut milk, potato, onion, and herbs.
“As consumers look to a healthier start for the year, and interest in reducing meat heightens, we want to ensure we’re offering something that meets every meal occasion. Our latest vegan launch responds to the demand for more choice, while reinforcing to shoppers that Ginsters is the category leader, harnessing trends and bringing new flavours and formats to the category,” a Ginsters spokesperson said.
Candy Kittens goes fully vegan
With the unveiling of a new formula for its Eton Mess flavoured sweets, Candy Kittens has now made its entire product range entirely vegan.
“Eton Mess was the final piece in the puzzle, and I’m delighted that we’ve reached this 100% vegan milestone,” said co-founder and MD, Ed Williamson.
“More than simply removing an ingredient, we’ve redeveloped the entire process to ensure our gourmet sweets give consumers the very best sweet without any compromise on quality – sweets don’t need meat.”
Ben & Jerry’s ice cream sundae
The fan favourite ice cream brand has released a new ice cream sundae range in four new flavours, and one of them is vegan. The sundaes will hit shelves at £5.49 a tub.
The dairy-free Berry Revolutionary sundae features raspberry dairy-free ice cream with sandwich cookies and chocolatey cookie swirls.
In response to the growing demand for plant-based cheese alternatives, Philadelphia has launched its first vegan offering (rsp: £2.50/150g)
The new cheese spread offers a “unique” recipe combining oats and almonds into a “delicious and creamy spread, as good as the original,” the company said.
Lilk plant-based milk
Lilk is launching two blended vegan milk alternatives, The Lush Blend and The Common Blend.
According to the producer, Lilk brings you the “next innovation in plant milks, blending grains and seeds to add the ‘dairy’ factor without the dairy.”
The Lush Blend uses oat, coconut and quinoa and The Common Blend uses blended rice and oats. Both are available through Ocado for £2 each.
Magnum has released new mini versions of its popular vegan flavours. In a pack of six, costing £4.29, you can find the Vegan Classic and Vegan Almond sticks.
Each is dairy-free while providing a “velvety” vanilla base and chocolate coating.
The cult classic vegetarian brand has launched a variety of new chilled and frozen products.
The chilled ready-to-eat range includes plant-based takes on items such as pulled pork rolls, mini sausage rolls, chorizo cocktail sausages, katsu chicken bites and cocktail sausages retailing from £1.75 – £2.50.
The frozen range is made up of vegan chicken nuggets, sausages, burgers and meatballs (rsp: £3/399g-460g)
The luxurious dessert brand has launched two new flavours of vegan pudding.
The first is a chocolate mousse layered with ganache (rsp: £3.60), while the other is a dark chocolate mousse with salted caramel (rsp: £2).
Vegan Boursin Garlic & Herbs cheese
Following its successful launch in the US, Boursin has released its vegan Garlic and Herbs cheese spread in the UK, exclusively at Sainsbury’s.
Inspired by the much-loved original Boursin recipe and priced at £3, the new spread is made from sunflower oil and has an “intense garlic, fragrant parsley and chive” flavour.